My passion and my calling is to encourage and equip leaders. So, why would I write a post built around the question, “What do you do for fun?” Well, my motive is multi-faceted. I have four reasons. The first is not strategic at all, hopefully, the other three are.
#1 I’m getting ready to go on a fun trip with my family, and I was wondering what you do for fun. I told you this wasn’t strategic. We’re going trekking. It’s a guided expedition for our family and eight strangers. We’ll be in the western region of Peru, with Machu Picchu – one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World as our final destination. It should be fun! Now to the more strategic reasons for my question…
#2 If we want to lead well, we must continually expand our world. Doing things for fun is a pathway to a larger world. Hobbies, travel, adventure, even reading widely can be fun and help us lead at a higher level. If all we do is work, we actually limit our impact.
#3 If we want to lead to our full potential, I believe we’ve got to recharge our own batteries from time to time. I wrote about this in a post entitled, 5 Ideas to Recharge Your Battery. I understand people engage in different activiites to replenish themselves; however, fun is an outstanding way to clear our minds and refresh our spirit. I was taught at an early age to see recreation as Re-Creation. Fun is therapeutic!
#4 Our attitude and emotional state are contagious. Like it or not, people always watch the leader. More than that, your demeanor will, over time, be reflected in your team. When we engage in “fun” activities, whatever that looks like for us as individuals, it affects our outlook, our countenance and our attitude. That impacts our team. Have some fun this weekend and see how it translates on Monday morning back at the office.
The most common push back I get on this one is, “I don’t have time.” If that’s where you are, I have two thoughts for you…
When my wife worked outside the home, she had a very demanding job. Often it would require her to literally work for days without coming home! One morning, as I was getting ready for work, she arrived home. She told me her supervisor sent her home. I asked why. She said, “He told me that if you have a mule and you kill him, you don’t have a mule anymore.” We decided it was the first time she’d been called a mule.
If you’re working too much to have time for some fun in your life, or you’re allowing members of your team to live that lifestyle, you’re going to kill the mule… then you won’t have a mule.
Finally, if you are too busy to have any fun outside the office, pull out your calendar and schedule it. You and I both know once something is on our calendars, we have a high success rate of making it happen. I have just begun discussions with my wife and my assistant about “fun” for 2014. In a matter of days, I will have locked in dates. Try it, you might like it.